Staying young through laughter Print
Grand Mom
Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 -- 12:00 AM

grand mom

I learned about God’s humor from Sister Gregory, a delightful Franciscan nun who was staff advisor for my high school newspaper.

As editor, I had to “put the paper to bed,” meaning write the last headlines, cross all the t’s, and dot the i’s before going to press.

One night we had to work right through dinner time and both confessed we were hungry.

Sister excused herself and returned after a moment with a heaping, fragrant bowl of popcorn.

As we dove into it she giggled, “I always see God’s humor in popcorn. Can’t you just imagine Him chuckling as He created the ear of corn, saying, ‘Wait ’til they see what happens when they get this near fire?’”

Delight in creation

I believe that God wants us to delight in all creation just as we did when we were babies, discovering the wonders of the world.

We marveled to find that our little arms could hug a mama’s leg or a soft teddy bear.

We laughed at the sound of tinkling bells, we giggled to see cartoon characters slip and slide and fall on their butts. We thrilled at the satisfaction of learning new skills as our bodies and minds developed in amazing ways.

Now as we age we must watch those bodily achievements go into reverse. Every day, it seems, we check off another thing we can no longer do. Let’s not cry about it but try to find the humor in it.

Recently, I met my old friend and former colleague, Tony, out for his daily brisk walk. I praised him for keeping in such good shape in his 70s.

“But you know what?” he replied, “I can’t stand on one foot anymore!”

“So? You give up ballet?” We both laughed at that.

Laughter as medicine

We oldies are careful to keep our prescriptions filled to keep us functioning, but the best medicine is laughter.

We need to refill that prescription every day by hanging out with people who are “suppliers” of laughter.

As an octogenarian myself, I like to hang out with people of all ages. Here’s a partial list of rules:

  • Hang out with your great grands; they’ll help you get up off the floor.
  • Hang out with four-year-olds. They find humor in your wrinkly arms.
  • Hang out with your grown grands; they can drive you to your out-of-town doctors.
  • Hang out with your “kids” in their 40s and 50s; they’ll tote your groceries.
  • Hang out with your friends in their 60s; they can still drive at night.
  • Hang out with bridge friends in their 70s; they might remember who dealt last.
  • Hang out with medical people; they understand your bad plumbing.
  • Hang out with positive, happy people; they will shine through the clouds.

And remember that God who laughed when He created popcorn? I think He is still chuckling as He sees us oldies watching our bodies deteriorate. Now He’s saying, “Wait ’til they see the new bodies I have waiting for them up here.”

“Grandmom” likes hearing from other senior citizens who enjoy aging at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it